previewed on PS3
For Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine, critical acclaim has been a constant companion, with praise being lavished on every game that's been spun from his somewhat twisted mind. On the other hand, mainstream success has always been absent. That looks set to change, with his new game Brutal Legend. It possesses all the elements needed to become that much wanted mainstream success: Heavy metal, celebrity voice-overs and lashings of blood and gore.
With this foundation, some may worry that Tim Schafer's distinctive writing style would be sacrificed, but thankfully, this game isn't a bland attempt to appease the mainstream. It is merely that the story -and the game that the team wants to create- requires these elements to be present.
The story itself focuses on Eddie Riggs, a Heavy Metal roadie. One night, while preparing his band's equipment, he has an accident that causes his blood to fall onto his belt buckle (which looks rather like Motorhead's Snaggletooth emblem). This activates the device and transports him to a Nordic style Heavy Metal realm where demons rule over humans.
Eddie has a love interest known as Ophelia who is injured early in the game. He must climb a mountain to battle The Killmaster whose bass riffs are said to heal wounds. The Killmaster is voiced by Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and is one of the numerous celebrity voiced characters in the game. Also currently on board are Jack Black, who voices Eddie Riggs and Rob Halford who lends his vocals to General Lionwhyte.
After rescuing Ophelia, Eddie has to build a resistance against the Lord Dolivicus and his demon army. Upon arriving in this new world, Eddie is greeted as a hero, with natives hoping that he knows modern warfare and possesses modern technology. While he isn't skilled in the ways they hope, his roadie background means he knows how to move a group from one place to another and keep it all together. He also possesses a photographic memory of every heavy metal album cover ever made, giving him the ability to remember blueprints for vehicles and equipment, allowing him to snap pieces of equipment together from memory to build tools such as tour buses and guitars.
Digging up the V8
You may be wondering where you'd find the equipment to build tour buses and electric guitars in a Nordic fantasy realm, but that's one of the many joys about the world Tim Schafer has created: It's completely unlike ours. In this world, an ancient race of Titans created music, cars and -to quote Schafer himself- “everything cool”. When they ascended to heaven to become Metal Gods, they left instructions behind to allow the people to follow in their footsteps. These blueprints can be found in the cross section of trees. Spiders spin bass strings. V8 engines grow underground ready to be mined. Everything in the world allows for the perfect Metal fantasy.
Schafer has said that he wants the game to feature a proper streaming open world with wildlife and cool places to explore -things that he attempted in Psychonauts- but wants to do justice to in this game. With the kind of imagination gone into the lore of this world, it's hard to imagine it failing.
The missions involve Eddie traveling all over the game world, recruiting and rescuing people to join his resistance, forming an army he takes into battle. Schafer has stated that he doesn't want the army to get too big, with plans to make it big enough to be an army, but small enough to form a personal connection with its members.